Mozilla and MuckerLab are joining forces to show that open source projects can be turned into profitable businesses.
The companies are looking for social and mobile startups to join a new program that combines Los Angeles-based accelerator MuckerLab and Mozilla’s WebFWD program, an incubator for open-source-based products. Startups will spend 3 months at MuckerLab and up to 6 months total receiving mentorship and doing training sessions.
“A lot of entrepreneurs associate [open source] with being nonprofit,” says WebFWD program manager Diane Bisgeier. “We want to tell them that there’s options for them” – in the same vein as companies like WordPress, Red Hat, and MySQL.
The details of the program are still being decided: WebFWD is done remotely, so startups might spend 3 months in each program – in either order – or (if they’re up for a challenge) do both at once. According to MuckerLab cofounder Erik Rannala, the startups will be part of the next MuckerLab class, which may be slightly bigger than the typical 6-10 companies to accomodate them.
This is part of an ongoing initiative by Mozilla to extend its reach, which includes past partnerships with Rockstart in Amsterdam and the Unreasonable Institute in Colorado. Bisgeier and director Pascal Finette knew the MuckerLab cofounders and wanted to work with an accelerator to experiment with this new partnership model. Depending on how things go, she says they are “open” to partnering with other accelerators.